It may be a new year, but SailGP season 3 continues on for Swiss SailGP Team. The team is gearing up for the first event of 2023 this weekend and the first ever Singapore Sail Grand Prix (14/15 January). With only four events remaining to make improvements on the scoreboard, it’s down to the business end of the season.
Racing in Singapore gets underway from 2pm - 3.30pm local time / 7am - 8.30am CET. Fans can watch the action live on SailGP’s You Tube channel and in Switzerland Blue Sports and Blue Zoom will show replays throughout Saturday and Sunday, as well as the following days.
The Swiss line up matches the Dubai SailGP: Sébastien Schneiter leads the team on the water, driving the F50, with Nathan Outteridge supporting as Strategist. Stuart Bithell and Jason Saunders race in the roles of wing trimmer and flight controller and rotating in the afterguard grinder positions are Swiss sailors, Julien Rolaz, Jérémy Bachelin and Laurane Mettraux.
After a two-month break since SailGP Dubai, Schneiter is ready to get back on the racetrack: “For us the goal is the same as last year, to learn as much as possible using the end of the season to jump into season 4 really strong and more competitive.
“As a new team, we keep learning a lot every time we sail and race these boats. Every minute we can spend on the F50 is gold for us as we are still trying to catch up with the more experienced teams that have thousands of hours sailing on these boats. The points in Dubai were the closest it’s ever been so we really feel we’re on the edge of making a jump so we’re hoping it can happen here in Singapore.
“Although it’s been almost two months since Dubai, it feels like yesterday because we have still been really busy as a team. We’ve had a lot of debriefing and analysing of tactical scenarios and alongside the team have been sailing other classes and in the gym, getting sharper and stronger for sailing these boats.
Like Dubai, Singapore is a light wind venue and the fleet will race with their large 29-meter wings. The light conditions could also mean a change to the athlete line up onboard; a four-crew configuration is expected, over the usual six.
Swiss SailGP Team CEO, Tanguy Cariou, on the new venue: “Singapore is unique and a really interesting venue, especially for a new team. It will be light and tricky, which won’t give us the full foiling conditions, so it will not be easy for any of the teams. This offers plenty of opportunities for someone in our position and we will use this to our advantage.
“There is a good fighting spirit within the team, everyone is ready for it and we can’t wait to get back out racing tomorrow.”
After Singapore, SailGP will head to Sydney for the Australia Sail Grand Prix (February 18-19) and then onto Christchurch for the New Zealand Sail Grand Prix (March 18-19). Season 3’s Grand Final takes place in San Francisco, 6-7 May.
Switzerland SailGP Spain line up:
Sébastien Schneiter (SUI) – driver
Nathan Outteridge (AUS) - strategist
Stuart Bithell (GBR) - wing trimmer
Jason Saunders (NZL) - flight controller
Julien Rolaz (SUI) – grinder
Laurane Mettraux (SUI) – grinder
Jérémy Bachelin (SUI) – grinder